Monday, May 29, 2023
Support Our Journalism
HomeOpinionGobi Manchurian in Doklam, Gangnam Style

Gobi Manchurian in Doklam, Gangnam Style

Text Size:

What happens when two nuclear weapon states engage in a Mexican stand-off? And that too on a perilous, and kind-of-maybe-contested-maybe-not, border tri-junction. Which, by the way, doesn’t quite belong to either of them.

Well, they end up making mock videos using cultural clichés that spare none. The dangerous India-China Doklam stand-off has at one level morphed into a scandalous round of insulting note-passing at your high-school.

As both countries, with about 37 per cent of the world population, play out this brinkmanship, media on both sides have embarked on their own free-for-all.

On 16 August, China’s state news agency Xinhua brought out an attempted spoof on Indians. It had a Chinese man dressed in a poor imitation of a Sikh turban. He spoke English in an unheard of Chinese-Indian accent. But maybe that’s the Chinese getting even for our atrocities with their cuisine, like Gobi Manchurian.

The video was called “7 sins of India”. The Spark, as the series is called, has host Dier Wang accusing India of the following saat-khoon-not-maaf: Trespassing, breaching a bilateral convention, defying international law, confusing right with wrong, victim-blaming, hijacking a small neighbour, and insolently standing by a mistake.

7 sins of India apart, a reading of the old Ninth Commandment is relevant: “You shall not desire…anything that is your neighbour’s”.

Fact: the only country doing so is China. As the only country that supports its claim over the territory, is China itself.

Indian TV channels were not to be left behind on the low-blow stuff. Soon, we had our own animation video. India Today channel showed Chinese President Xi (mercifully not called “eleven” again) Jinping trying desperately to attract the attention of PM Narendra Modi, who sits chuckling in front of a television screen.

At the end of the 1:56 minute parody, Modi is watching Xi dancing Gangnam Style while dressed as Winnie the Pooh.

The cute cartoon character has fast become Xi’s number one enemy of state. So much so, that the Chinese government has been actively trying to block the image search since 2013, when the picture below first surfaced on the Twitter-like site Weibo.

Surprisingly, #Whinythepooh is still not a trending topic.

In a turn of stranger events, Chinese mouthpiece Xinhua released another video on 20 August.

This one’s boring by earlier standards, kind of NDTV to Republic. The host calls for a “sober, cooperative solution”, but ends like this: “There’s enough room in Asia for the dragon and elephant to dance”.

Wow, just imagine the floor! Not sure you’d wish to be thereabouts.

The tango talk, incidentally, came soon after video footage of clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Pangong Lake went viral. The video was shared first by ThePrint on 19 August.

Between all this, on 18 August, Hindustan Times had comedian Vasu Primlani doing her best to hold her own in this epic rap battle of history. We hope that the open letter titled, ‘Dear China we ain’t buying your fake news,’ is the last in this series of unfunny trash-talk.

Diplomacy should be left to those that know it best. But for the time being, there seems to be enough to inspire new Hindi-Chini folklore.

Meanwhile, a nervous Bhutan, whose territory it actually is, watches the tu-tu-main-main with trepidation. The last thing it wants is the elephant and the dragon dancing on and around its territory.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular